Friday, December 11, 2020

Checking That List Twice


In our ever-ongoing quest to learn more about our family history, sometimes we choose research goals which, in retrospect, remind us of that old saying about "biting off more than you can chew."

For the grand finale to this year's "Twelve Most Wanted" of my ancestors, I had hoped to get a clearer picture of just how all those Gramlewicz relatives actually related to my Laskowskis from Żerków, Poland. The deeper I get into this month, the more I realize how far short I will fall from the hope of completing this goal. I need a longer month.

Goal setting can be like that: if we "bite off" more than we can "chew," but set a time limit on how long we work on that goal, we'll need to face up to the need to revisit that goal in a future research iteration. I never dreamed a tiny town of barely two thousand people could have so many Laskowskis! I am not certain yet just how they all intertwined in their family relationships, but they are not leading me as conveniently as I had hoped to those Gramlewicz kin.

As for the Gramlewicz families in Żerków, I am still at a loss as to how two branches of that surname connect—if at all. While I've had to make some adjustments to that surname in my family tree database, there are still several questions. Perhaps that is the benefit of reviewing one's tree periodically: there are some honest mistakes which would otherwise remain uncorrected. Or details which would otherwise have been neglected.

And so I proceed, slowly, line by line through the family tree, adjusting, updating, and completing what I know about that Gramlewicz line—and tying in the Laskowski family where appropriate. Since I am also migrating my father's separate family tree over to one master tree for DNA-linking purposes, that "list" from my dad's tree is also getting added, one by one, to the master list, as well.

In the meantime, as the tedium of this list-checking continues in the background, there are other tasks which will need to be attended to in this last-month-of-the-year review time. We are about to spring into a new year, a year complete with a whole new set of research goals and plans. It certainly won't be like the year we were planning for, twelve months ago when traveling to, say, Salt Lake City for hands-on research was still a possibility; research plans for next year will certainly be curtailed on account of the same restraint. But plan we must, so that we will have a list to double-check at the end of next December.

A list of goals would not be worth much if we didn't also review what we did accomplish, and reflect on how that process went. It's informative for future goal-setting to know how the last year went, how much was actually accomplished, and what happened to those goals which fell short of the month's mark. I'll be saving some time later this month to reflect on that, as well.

In the meantime, it's back to checking off that Laskowski list in Żerków, and seeing how many of those relatives lead me to connections with my Gramlewicz lines.

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